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June 16, 2023

Road to the Enjin Blockchain, Etherscape – A humble Indie Game Dev’s Opinion

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Road to the Enjin Blockchain, Etherscape – A humble Indie Game Dev’s Opinion
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Introducing The Etherscape: Our latest Enjin Blockchain adopter.

The following guest post is written by Sam Bayless - the creator and developer of The Etherscape. Let's dive in!

The Ether-what?! 🤔

Hey there, Enjin community! I'm Sam, the developer behind The Etherscape, a new shared world RPG built on top of Efinity. You might already know me as SamTheBay from our lively discussions on Enjin's Telegram and Discord channels.

What a wild ride it's been this week, hasn't it? With the big news about the new Enjin Blockchain and the potential merge of Enjin and Efinity, our heads are spinning with possibilities!

I've been glued to the Enjin social channels, soaking in all your thoughts and opinions. It's fantastic to see the diversity of perspectives out there. In fact, you all have inspired me to jot down a little guest blog post now that I'm officially an Enjin Adopter.

I want to share my unique perspective as a developer and give you a glimpse of the bright and promising future I envision for all of us.

So, grab a cup of your favorite beverage, get comfortable, and let's embark on this journey together as we explore The Etherscape, Enjin, and the amazing potential they hold for all of us.

What are we going to discuss here?

Before we dive in, let me set the stage by clarifying what we won't be discussing today. While topics like the proposed tokenomics of the Enjin Blockchain, conversion ratios, and market caps are undeniably important. I'll leave those conversations for another time. Instead, I want to focus on the area where I believe I have the most credibility: as a developer.

As someone deeply immersed in the world of game development, I want to share my thoughts and insights on how this exciting Enjin-Efinity merger and the new Enjin Blockchain can shape the landscape for developers like myself.

A picture containing cartoon, graphic design, art, animeDescription automatically generated
The Etherscape

Discovering Enjin

I've been immersed in the world of indie game development for 15 years, with releases on platforms like Xbox, Windows Phone, and Steam. Since my early days, I've been captivated by the allure of online worlds. It all started when I was hooked by Ultima Online. But my excitement reached new heights when I stumbled upon the world of crypto and NFTs.

As I delved deeper into the fascinating realm of blockchain technology, I couldn't contain my enthusiasm for how it could truly revolutionize online worlds. Naturally, I began exploring what other developers were building in this space and stumbled upon projects like Axie Infinity and Decentraland. However, I couldn't shake the feeling that these projects weren't fully living up to the immense potential of the technology.

The sky-high transaction fees and token costs acted as formidable barriers for players to dive into these virtual realms. Moreover, it seemed to me that the game companies themselves were reaping the lion's share of benefits, leaving players with less agency and reward. And that's when it hit me—a brilliant idea was born: The Etherscape! I envisioned a game where players would have unprecedented control over the economy, where they could decide when and what NFTs would be created instead of leaving it solely in the hands of developers.

Eager to turn this vision into reality, I embarked on a research spree to find the perfect ecosystem to bring The Etherscape to life. After countless hours of investigation, my quest led me straight to Enjin.

Why Enjin, you ask? Well, they had built an impressive set of tools that allowed me to get NFTs up and running in a Unity proof of concept in mere hours. Talk about efficiency and convenience.  

Armed with this newfound knowledge, I set my sights on building a seamless pipeline that would enable the dynamic minting of NFTs on the fly, based on exciting random loot drops. Months of dedication, determination, and hard work paid off, and I proudly unveiled an alpha version of The Etherscape—a realization of my core vision.

A screenshot of a video gameDescription automatically generated
Crafting an NFT from a random loot drop using the “Etherforge”.

Why Efinity (or the Matrixchain)?

At this time, I reached out to the Enjin team to create a beam for marketing my game to the first set of players. The Efinity chain was already running but the necessary API’s for integration were not yet released. After talking to the Enjin team, they offered to give me closed beta access to the new Enjin Platform API’s to try Efinity. This new option caused me to take a step back to think about what the best way forward would be.

After taking some time to research and consider, I ended up deciding on using Efinity. Efinity is based on Substrate technology instead of Ethereum, and that brought several advantages over the existing Legacy Enjin platform.

In the end, the following points were what made me decide to migrate to Efinity…

  • Ease of access to the tokens. JENJ was a bit troublesome to acquire since conversion requires paying high ETH gas fees. EFI transactions on the L1 chain only cost only a fraction of a cent.
  • Chain level self-serve support for marketplace and beam. As a developer, these provide critical monetization and marketing tools for me.
  • A better API with access to more on-chain. Even though Jumpnet Platform served its purpose during a critical moment of the Ethereum Blockchain, the API was minimal which required me to jump through many hoops to get my fully dynamic NFT's working. The new Enjin Platform API is way more open and what I am trying to build is more natural there.
  • A modern web3 marketplace for my players (NFT.io).
  • An exciting road map with many features I could imagine using such as crafting recipes for NFT’s.
  • An active team that was open to collaborating and creating opportunities for a humble indie dev.
Taking a stroll around town on the alpha server in The Etherscape.

To Efinity and… now where?

That brings us to the present week, which has really shaken everything up with the proposed merge between Efinity and Enjin. There is no doubt that the merge is a controversial topic and I have read dozens of opinions on why it is right or wrong.

In the end, I think both groups have something to lose and something to gain. In my head, it boils down to two main points…

  • Enjin needs the substrate technology from Efinity to remain viable.
  • Efinity needs the community and the consolidated brand that Enjin has built over the past years.

As for me, I am trying to focus on the future. What setup will give us the highest chance of realizing a vision that enables the next generation of shared online worlds? I think a single chain that is purpose built for NFT’s and a single community behind it is what we need.

The details of how the merge happens right now are important, but let’s not lose sight of what is in front of us. If this change can enable agility for Enjin, ease of use for developers and one unified community then I think there is a bright future ahead for all of us.

I’m looking forward to building and playing for many years to come with all of you Enjin friends! If you want to learn more about The Etherscape then you can check it out at https://the-etherscape.com.

Steam powered robot overload… Uh oh.

Road to the Enjin Blockchain, Etherscape – A humble Indie Game Dev’s Opinion
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